A series of obstacles lies between the salivating foodie and ORNG Kitchen, a classy yet casual fine dining option whose quality justifies its remoteness. First, there is the Pyay Road traffic, and then, a few bumpy backroads. If you don’t know where to look you may not find it right away, but once you do, the sight of the picturesque, pondside restaurant peeking out of the foliage will offer a tantalizing glimpse of what’s to come.
Candles and light fixtures blanket ORNG Kitchen’s outdoor seating area with soft, orange light. (These attract mosquitoes, so dress appropriately.) In the open kitchen, guests can see the team working hard. During our recent visit, we asked for the five-course tasting menu, priced at K40,000 (US$30), paired with the house wine (K5,000 per glass).
The meal began with a series of hors d’oeuvres. First was the “canapé of the day” – an oat cracker topped with goat cheese mousse, mint, beetroot, and pickled shallots. It was decadent and delicate, like a potato chip for the One Percent.
Next up was the pumpkin amuse bouche. The smooth, creamy soup was earthy and comforting, coating our palettes with warmth.
The cauliflower custard, another pre-starter, is an innovative take on an ordinary vegetable. Each bite of the light, fluffy custard was unique: one dominated by crunchy parmesan crisps, one by crushed peanuts, and another by crispy garlic chips, which we liked best.
The starter was an array of tender, smoked duck slices with a purée and a chutney both made from apples. Tangy and sweet, the apple derivatives complimented the savory duck well; we wish there had been more.
Next came the star of the meal – the wagyu rump stake. Placed upon a bed of roasted potatoes and steamed vegetables glazed in a fragrant sauce, the beef, just like everyone always says, truly melts in the mouth.
There were three dessert options, so, since we were a party of three, we ordered one of each: a panna cotta, a lime tart, and a dark chocolate mousse cannoli with homemade mango ice cream. The seasonal ingredients highlighted the evolving nature of the menu. Each dessert was light in substance yet packed with flavor – a perfect ending to a superb dining experience.
The ORNG team delivered excellent service while also being friendly and fun. They were prompt and patient with our requests and answered all of our questions with interest and care. Even though we ordered in Burmese, we heard them speak conversational English with the people at the next table, delivering identical service to locals and expats alike.
Chef Orng – a Myanmar repat who worked in the UK before opening his Yangon restaurant – visited each table twice throughout the meal –after the appetizers and after dessert. These visits were an opportunity for him to breathe life into the creations we were about to consume and for us to plumb the depths of a master chef’s mind.
“We try to source as much as we can from the same vendors. A lot of our vegetables and herbs are grown in the garden that you can see across the pond. It’s always a challenge to make the menu seasonal, but we change the items up often. What we really strive for is consistency. If the vegetables come from different places throughout the week, we can’t maintain the same standard for every guest,” Chef Orng told us.
This professional yet personal touch was exemplary of the overall attention to detail that goes into the dining experience designed by ORNG Kitchen.
ORNG Kitchen, is open every day from 11:30am to 2pm for lunch and 6pm to 9:30pm for dinner.
The address is No. 1, U Sein Mg Lane, Konemyint Yeik Tha Street, 7 Mile, Mayangone Township.
For reservations email firstname.lastname@example.org or call +95 977 19 5020. For more information about ORNG Kitchen, group reservations, and corporate events, contact Charles-David Hay at email@example.com or call +95 9263 35 0126.